March 3, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Northwestern wrapped up its weekend at the Midwest Fencing Conference (MFC) Championships Sunday by adding two more medals to its two-day haul. The Wildcats epée and sabre squads both finished in third place in the tournament, while the foil group took fourth.
NU's sabre squad picked up the first medal of the day Sunday at the Castellan Family Fencing Center when it toppled Wayne State in the bronze-medal match. The epée squad defeated Michigan State to win its bronze hardware, while the foil squad came up short in its attempt to reach the medal stand after falling to Wayne State in overtime.
The sabre squad opened with a 5-0 win over Oberlin College, which was represented by a lone fencer. In the quarterfinals, the Wildcats dispatched Detroit, 5-2. Alicia Gurrieri and Chloe Grainger each tallied two wins in the round for NU.
Northwestern's sabre squad lost to the host Fighting Irish, 5-2, in the semifinal round. Gurrieri and freshman Cara Franke picked up the two victories for the Wildcats. With the bronze medal on the line, NU ousted Wayne State by a score of 5-2. Fittingly it was the squad's captain, Gurrieri, who clinched the match with a 5-2 triumph over her opponent.
In epée, the Wildcats began the day by making quick work of Lawrence in a 5-0 win. Lawrence only had two fencers and therefore forefeited two bouts. The 'Cats notched a second-straight shutout with a 5-0 win over Indiana in the quarterfinals. Courtney Dumas and Kate Cavanaugh each won twice with Dumas delivering a one-touch victory to claim the match.
In the semifinals against Ohio State, Northwestern got off to an early lead when Dina Bazarbayeva defeated Caroline Piasecka, 5-2. The Buckeyes rattled off three straight wins before Bazarbayeva and Dumas picked up victories to keep the match alive. Cavanaugh fell in a one-touch bout and Piasecka defeated Dumas, 5-2, to seal the match for Ohio State.
Northwestern was in control from the onset of the third-place epée match. Freshmen Kaitlyn Wallace and Haley Hart each won twice against the Spartans with Hart's 5-1 triumph over Bridget Molnar clinching the medal for Northwestern.
The second-seeded foil squad opened Sunday with a 5-0 win over a short-handed team from Bowling Green State before posting a 5-2 win over Indiana in the quarterfinals. Freshmen Mikela Goldstein and Charlotte Sands each won twice against the Hoosiers.
The 'Cats ran up against a tough Ohio State sqaud in the semifinals and despite a valiant effort, lost 5-3. Another newcomer, Jen Yamin, picked up her only two wins of the day in the battle with the Buckeyes. The battle for bronze in foil came down to the wire and Wayne State was able to snag a 5-4 win on the heels of a one-touch victory in the ninth and final bout.
The Wildcats finished third overall in the women's standings for the three weapons. Combined with the men's team, which is club sport at Northwestern, the program finished third overall at the championship meet with 1,350 points. This marks the fifth time in six years that NU has secured a third-place finish at the MFC Championships.
During Saturday's individual tournaments, the Wildcats staked a claim to four medals. Bazarbayeva was NU's top finisher by earning a silver medal, while Dumas, Gurrieri and Dayana Sarkisova won bronze in epée, sabre and foil, respectively. Click here to read a full recap of Saturday's action.
Northwestern will return to South Bend, Ind. and the Castellan Family Fencing Center for a third consecutive weekend next Saturday for the NCAA Regional Championships. The competition is slated to get underway at about 10 a.m. CT.
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